Perceptions of musical self-beliefs among high school band students and directors in Arkansas that participate in competitive music performance events
Maggio, Peter Anthony
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Musical ensembles’ attendance at competitive music performance events (CMPEs) is a mainstream characteristic of the music education paradigm in many states. One problem with this current system is that we do not know the extent to which the results of these events impact the musical self-beliefs of the individual participants and those of their ensemble as a group. A total of ninety-one students and three directors from three different high school band programs in Arkansas participated in this research. The purpose of this study was to (a) examine students’ perceptions of their musical self-beliefs as related to their ensemble’s ratings at competitive music performance events (CMPEs), (b) gain clarity into how the educational ideology of the director might affect the self-efficacy beliefs of his or her students, and (c) open a dialogue into potential discovery of the sources of group efficacy beliefs in a band setting as related to individual self-efficacy beliefs. More specifically, I sought to discover students’ and directors’ perceptions of the results of CMPEs through their own words and experiences in order to offer suggestions for music educators to benefit them and their students when they participate in CMPEs. I used a holistic, multiple case study design as detailed by Yin (2014). Analysis of participant statements about their experiences at and ensemble results from CMPEs yielded a greater understanding into how these particular participants from Arkansas view CMPE results in terms of their overall musical self-beliefs. Furthermore, through the analysis of data, I was able to posit the Framework for Understanding the Formation of Group Efficacy Beliefs of High School Band Students which included three criteria: (a) Unity, (b) Cognizance of Function, and (c) Introspection. In addition to the proposed framework, findings suggest that band directors may be able to foster positive efficacy beliefs in their students and their ensembles by (a) framing the CMPE as a part of the learning process, not a means to an end; (b) encouraging students to set and pursue their own personal musical goals; (c) develop a culture within their ensemble of shared values, beliefs, and goals, awareness of each individual’s role in the performance; and (d) foster the ability for individual students to reflect and improve their own performances for the benefit of the group.